In my home country, Sunday was Father’s Day, a day set aside to honor our fathers. It’s a bittersweet day for me, a day that conjures up a host of memories, including my dad’s final hours on earth. My mother, siblings, and I encircled his bed in the Intensive Care Unit of a Florida hospital and sang songs from our camping days as well as old hymns. We shared memories of growing up, sailing, water skiing, long road trips. We verbalized words of appreciation for his impact on our lives. Saying goodbye to a loved one is gut-wrenching. Even though we intellectually know that death is the one thing in life that everyone can be assured of … when it happens… its finality grips in a way that nothing else can.
This past year a lot of people have said goodbye… not just to fathers, but to friends and relatives who have succumbed either to COVID or some other illness/affliction. We personally have lost dear friends and family members as well as watching others lose spouses, children. Every loss etches a scar upon our hearts, a scar that may someday begin to fade, but that never goes away.
If I had only known the last time would be the last time
I would’ve put off all the things I had to do
I would’ve stayed a little longer, held on a little tighter
Now what I’d give for one more day with you.
And they tell me that it’s gonna heal with time
But I know you’re in a place where all your wounds have been erased
And knowing yours are healed is healing mine.
The only scars in heaven, they won’t belong to me and you
There’ll be no such thing as broken and all the old will be made new
And the thought that makes me smile now even as the tears fall down
Is that the only scars in heaven are on the hands that hold you now.
I know the road you walked was anything but easy
You picked up your share of scars along the way
Oh, but now you’re standing in the sun, you’ve fought your fight and your race is run
The pain is all a million miles away.
There’s not a day goes by that I don’t see you
You live on in all the better parts of me
Until I’m standing with you in the sun, I’ll fight this fight and this race I’ll run
Until I finally see what you can see.
“Scars in Heaven” by Casting Crowns
Yes, the only scars in heaven are on the hands of our precious Lord… and He is holding us now as we grieve, as we mourn, as we reflect upon those precious ones who have left their imprint upon our lives.
“…the only scars in heaven are on the hands that hold you now…
There’s not a day goes by that I don’t see you … you live on in all the better parts of me.”
Stay safe! Stay healthy! STAY CONNECTED!
on behalf of the Pastoral Care Team (firstname.lastname@example.org)